Red Wings to Pick Sixth After Draft Lottery

Posted April 30, 2018

The Buffalo Sabres will have the first overall pick in the National Hockey League draft. A top three pick for Montreal is an interesting situation to keep an eye on, as they are the first team of the draft that may pick outside the prospect rankings and take a lower ranked defender over the right wing prospect that Carolina doesn't choose.

It's safe to assume that many Vancouver Canucks fans had very minor hope about winning the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery, considering the long history of this team's misfortunes when it comes to picking the lucky numbers.

The Carolina Hurricanes landed the No. 2 pick in making the biggest jump in the order by moving up from the 11th spot. They couldn't have fallen past the fourth pick.

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The Hawks, who missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years, entered Saturday night with the seventh-best odds (6.5 percent) to capture the top overall pick. In 2015, the Sabres, after a year of tanking, famously lost the lottery to the Edmonton Oilers, who won the right to draft center Connor McDavid.

"When it got to be No. 11 and our name didn't come up there, it was like: 'Wow, do you believe just what happened?'" Waddell said. Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov is the top-ranked North American prospect based on him playing for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League. "At 3, you're anxious about who is going at 2, but at 2, you certainly know who is probably going at 1, so you can really plan for who you really want to take if you keep the pick".

At the sixth pick, the worst-case scenario is that the Red Wings will have their choice of three of the second-tier defensemen available after missing out on Rasmus Dahlin.

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"We're absolutely ecstatic", Buffalo General Manager Jason Botterill said.

The Carolina Hurricanes will select second overall. The Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes fell out of the top three to picks No. 4 and No. 5.

Buffalo became just the eighth last-place team to win the lottery to retain the No. 1 pick since the lottery was introduced in 1995. In 1986, Jack Gordon drafted centre Dan Woodley seventh overall.

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The NHL draft is June 22-23 in Dallas.